Earlier this week we posted a report titled "Bringing ABC's Live News to Apple TV is a Monumental Move." The timing of that news was a surprise though the idea of live-TV coming to Apple's iDevice wasn't. It was forecasted back in a 2006 patent application that was granted to them in 2012. Earlier this month at Apple's WWDC Craig Federighi pointed to several developments for gaming such as "Metal" that could now allow major gaming houses to release top games aimed for the PS4 and Xbox to come to Apple TV technically at the same time. Apple also introduced us to HomeKit during that same event and it's very possible that Apple could be thinking of integrating their new Home App right into Apple TV and finally bringing to market a true in-home digital hub that we've been waiting for. Is it a pipedream? Only time will tell.
Apple's Home App
Below are two screenshots that we took from Apple's WWDC 2014 event video regarding "HomeKit" for developers. Apple's upcoming consumer side Home App is to debut with iOS 8.
Apple's HomeKit got the leap on Google who just announced new API's for Nest's Home Network this week. Below is a video of their presentation called "Works with Nest." For sure the race is officially on between Apple and Google as to who will deliver the best Home Network solution to market. Will users prefer to control their home network from a wall device or one that could be set in the comfort of their living room?
Earlier today our Patently Mobile site posted a report titled "Samsung Invents a Smart Home/Office Network Messaging System." In one of Samsung's latest patent applications they presented a series of patent figures that illustrate how they'll use a new "Smart TV" user interface to set up controls for in-home interconnected devices and appliances.
In that same vein, it's very easy to envision Apple bringing their Home App to a device such as Apple TV and presenting us with a series of easy to use interfaces that could tie all of our in-home appliances and devices together from a central device like Apple TV.
By combining their new Home App with a new high-end gaming experience accompanied by a game pad and more live-TV channels, it's easy to see how Apple TV could end up being one Apples hottest selling iDevices this Christmas.
More specifically on gaming, one of Apple's related WWDC press releases stated the following: Gaming on iOS takes a huge leap forward in iOS 8 with Metal, a new graphics technology that maximizes performance on that A7 chip. With it's dramatic 10 times improvement in draw call speed, Metal enables leading game providers for the first time to bring console-class 3D games to mobile devices."
Yes, for the first time, console-class 3D games are coming to Apple's mobile devices which includes Apple TV. That's not my words, that's Apple's claim and one that is very exciting. Especially because the advancements were guaged on Apple's A7 processor and not on their upcoming A8 mobile processor which will be even more advanced.
Many consumers, especially within the Apple community, have yet to pull the trigger to purchase an Apple TV because it has such limiting appeal. By combining a number of new and exciting dimensions to Apple TV as we've outlined above, I think a larger segment of the consumer market would be open to trying Apple's reinvented device. If they master the gaming-rental business just right, it could be a blockbuster.
While this could be considered highly speculative, I think that the pieces of the puzzle fit just right. In December 2013 Apple's CEO told NBC's Brian Williams that TV was an area of intense interest at Apple. It's possible that on the anniversary of that interview we'll be sharing that same exuberance that Cook expressed last year regarding Apple TV.
And although I'd prefer to see a true HDTV emerge at a special Apple event this fall that would blow us all away, I think that Apple's little TV box could still pleasantly surprise us and finally take this one-time hobby product to the next level. Could Apple TV be one of Apple's hottest iDevices of the year? Yes, I believe it could - how about you?
Side Note: If Apple's Home App Comes to Apple TV, then Siri may come into play as noted in Apple's WWDC slide noted above. Apple had this in mind for Apple TV many years ago as we reported on this back in 2009 under the report title of: Apple Secretly Adding Voice Command Technology into Apple TV